Tonight, I saw Tim Minchin. I love the guy. But this is the best I've ever seen him. And for that matter, seen any concert or act of any kind ever.
Commensal, 5:00. Ate mildly overpriced vegetarian food, shared British chocolate, got signatures from my Feeter friends, and my school friends. My school friends were Winter, her Mum, Luc, Susannah, and her cousin. And it was very lovely. I gave @h2osarah (great blogger) a photo of us together from the last Tim Minchin gig we went to, signed by me on the back. I also gave her the back the books I borrowed (A Light-Hearted Look at Murder by Mark Watson & Tickling the English by Dara O'Briain, both great standup comedians). At 6:15 we chaotically rushed through Yonge Street festival crowds, and got to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre. My friend Winter joked it therefore belonged to her, and while she held my massive bag of stuff, I ran off to Tim Hortons with Luc.
Look, here's what I did. After seeing a comment on a blog on timminchin.com about Tim coming to Canada saying "If anyone offers you TimBits, take them", I decided I'd do just that. I know Tim tends to want books and clothes more than sweets, so I only bought a little box of 10 across from the theatre, (with mild stress levels as my friend Luc went to the washroom and went up an elevator that was heading to absolutely any floor of a rather tall building. I was left wondering how long it'd be, and if we'd make it back to the theatre to have ample time). Needless to say, things worked out, and after buying Timbits from a woman called Aysha, we headed on our way.
Note for non-Canadians: Timbits are essentially the insides of a donut hole, made larger. There ping-pong sized donut balls, and they come in packages like this.
So with these appropriately named donut creations, we headed into the theatre. I found out where the stage door was, told Sarah where, ran back up to my seat (I had 3rd row centre mezzanine, while she had front row centre. Lucky duck got to buy tickets cos she was at home at 10 am when the presale began... I had to wait til school ended, and even then, wait for the day after for my friends' conformations).
Anyways, after many subtle light changes that left me with many unnecessary shushes of conversations, the lights darkened, and Tim walked on. For some reason, I never remember his name being called out to bring him in. The lights just dim, and he walks out like "Yeah, hi... whatever. I'm just walking out onto the stage with a grand piano, I'm gonna do my thing..."
He began with a stunning Rock and Roll Nerd. Better than any previous live performance I've seen (maybe only the Sonisphere Rock and Roll Nerd clip competes due to the epic guitarist who just popped up. But this was the best one of him ever when he played alone). He replaced pubs with bars, and "small pants like Kylie (or Lindsay, depending)" with Brittany. There was a bit where when he sang "He will always be" and on the always, a big guy just walked in front of the lights the back, darkening the majority of the spotlight that would've otherwise been on Tim's face. He stopped. "Hey, you know that... the lights are up there right? Not down here. Not down here. And I'm not bioluminescent either." He said to the laughing audience. "I'm not made of phosphorus..." he murmured, and began at "be" again.
In between, he did a little bit about going to the hairdresser (yes, this hairdo does actually need to be cut). He said he was sitting beside guy as they were both getting their hair cut. The other guy's hairdresser was a very beautiful woman, and as she cut his hair, he... *Tim put his coat on backwards and moved the microphone around a bit under the coat towards the pants area*. The woman said "How DARE you do that in my shop! Get out!", only for him to say "I was just cleaning my glasses...". And then she lifted the cape. And he was completely covered with semen. He then admitted this never actually happened, but it amused him. He also pointed out how at 3rd row centre, there were 2 empty seats. In a sold out hall. He said something like: "It's probably cos they booked so early in the sales that they forgot that the show was tonight. Or maybe they died... it's statistically possible, that in all the shows I've done, some people would die on the way to see me..." Tim paused. "Tell you what, if they show up: standing ovation. Everybody get up and clap as loud as you f**king can".
Next was Cont. Not the C word, if that's what you were thinking. It's actually called Context, in which (SPOILER) Tim Minchin sings about all the races, sexualities, genders etc. that make him mad (e.g. I don't like black people). It sounds terribly racist, sexist, agist, etc. Then after ending with "Yeah, no matter what your colour or your creed, I will judge you for no reason", he stops awkwardly and looks at the lyrics on paper in front of him. He suddenly "realizes" that half the lyrics were covered! He then starts again and says the full lyrics (e.g. I don't like black people... who risk billions of other people's money on future derivatives), and ends with "Yeah, no matter what your colour or your creed, I will judge you for no reason... but your deeds". He also changed the line about the reading over the shoulder on the tube line to subway (Canadian word for the British tube! Yay for gig-specific references!).
If I Didn't Have You. Began with VELP bit, said colouring, not tracing. Damn good wiggle.
Thank You God. I adore this song. Made me laugh the most of all his new material the first time I heard it. He began with the bit about how he wasn't doing religious material that night, and a girl yelled out "Boo! like a trick-or-treater. Everyone laughed. The Tim went on about Sam in that "you can't hear dialogue" way: "Sam said: "'Hi my name's Sam'" His name was Sam... 'I'm from Dandenong' He was from Dandenong...", and mentioned Ross Noble, which made me rather happy. I'd LOVE it if Ross Noble came to Toronto. I'd totally see that. Funny to hear this song acoustically.
Prejudice. Made jazzy! Got the audience to sing along at the chorus. There was a bit when the whole place looked exactly like a dream I had of seeing him. I couldn't help but let my jaw drop.
Pope Song. Qur'an bit was lengthened. Instead of ust the surplus of f**king idiots being the burner and the people who protested the burner, he added the bit about Fox being stupid enough to give the story attention.
Confessions. Not a favourite, but live, the funniest thing of the show. So well-measured and awkward. He certainly knows how to make his eyes look like they're saying "What are YOU thinking?". People later on shouted out things about boobs for the rest of the time (particularly funny when he said "If you gain anything from my shows, it's all about... " "BOOBS" "Well, yes, but other than that..." he grinned). He said "If you learn anything from my shows, it's that religion is like tupperware party. It's a bunch of people trying to give you see-through sh*t you don't need.".
Lullaby: Exactly like the youtube version. Lovely. It's a damn beautiful riff. At the end, my friend Winter whispered to me to tell her Mum "I'm SO sorry.". I have good friends.
Storm: He began by saying "It's almost over now...". The audience said "Awwwww..." as expected, to a reply of "Don't worry... the next 2 songs are very very long." Then he said, "This is a nine-minute beat poem", and I could not even begin to stop grinning. The audience screamed and applauded, and he said something to the effect of "Big fans of poetry here in Toronto? Or did you just get a bus of college and uni kids to come in like 'Yeah! Poetry!'"He spoke along to the Storm Movie background, and fumbled sweetly on "bright and light-hearted" by saying "light and bright-hearted", then correcting it. His voice was even more emotional and excited than any CD or YouTube version. He would add extra lilts in his voice and details, like yelling "AHH!!!" before saying "the f**king JANITOR... or the dude who ran the water slide" and changing Basprin to Vagasprin. Of course, he had that glass of red wine in his hand too. Made me so happy.
Dark Side: As soon as he played that C# minor chord, I began to shake. I've been wanting to see this song live ever since I saw it on YouTube. The lights were a perfect blend of blood reds and black clouds, then sunny blue and orange and a tad of green. The solo was intense, messy, yet precise. You have no idea how much I enjoyed it. The entire crowd gave a standing ovation. As everyone expected, he came back for an encore.
White Wine In The Sun: Before this, he asked the room "Christmas, or tumour?". The crowd shouted out their votes, and he laughed to himself saying "I can count the amount of places I've been where the question "Christmas, or tumour?" has been asked...". So terribly funny. And of course, as always, White Wine was gorgeous. I held my breath a lot.
I stood up again to applaud him, and found that my knees buckled under me. Not due to pain or anything, it was like my body had decided to faint due to a system overload. Except without the loss of consciousness. I then pulled myself back to standing position with the chair in front of me. Any show that turns me to jello at the end is beyond incredible. He said "Thank you so much, this has been an incredible night. Thank you." He pointed to the two empty seats in the entire and said, "But F**k those two, f**k 'em... Thanks." and everyone went nuts again. He went backstage, and came back to do his "second encore" song (I never remember how it goes, sorry) & the audience filed out with a look of happiness and satisfaction on their faces.
After about 20 minutes of waiting, Tim came out the stage doors onto Victoria Street. I was near the end, so I talked to fans beside me about Matilda, sang them a couple of bars from the songs I knew off-hand. I was amused to find Tibbs from the forum was wearing a shirt that said "I think I'm going to try science" and a stick man with a bubbling beaker and calculator.
Sarah K, Tibbs, Me in front
I walked up to him while he was meeting my friends to the welcoming of "Hello Julesy!" and a hug."You remember me! That's nice of you!"
"Sure! What would you like?"
I brought out TimBits "I know you don't like sweets, but it's a small pack, and it has your freaking name on them."
"I was prepared to sign them! Thank you..."
"I've got far too much stuff... sign this bag I made?" (I made a "Take me to the supermarket" canvas bag, with canvas stitched onto 2 sides of a canvas bag I bought. On one side it says "take me to the supermarket", on the other it has a picture of Tim)
He commented how he liked it, signed it, and put an arrow going towards his face that said "<-- i am jesus" (I did make him look rather Jesus-like in the picture, it's true. The solemn look, the long hair... it all fits.).
He also signed a couple of birthday cards for my friends, and I told him it was the best show I'd ever seen. "What have you seen?"
"You last year in Toronto with Bo Burnham, Conversation With, Eddie Izzard..." I began listing.
"Alright, that's pretty good then." He smiled.
"Are you going to Montreal?" He asked, smiling oddly earnestly.
"I wish! I have no money left..."
"Right, cos you already spent it all on me in UK." He smiled a bit less, almost like he would miss me. "That's ok. Yeah... fine."
He went to some other people, came back gave me more hugs, kissed his hand which he then put on my cheek (cos he had to stand up for a photo.), and I stood for a photo with him, Sarah, Tibbs, and me.
Then I took one with him and my friends.
Then I asked if I could squeeze in there, gave the camera to Sarah to take a photo, and I snuck under Tim's arm, mumbling "Let me just get under here like a little monkey...". "That's my Julianna!" (can't lie, that made me grin a hell of a lot). The photo was taken, Luc, Peter, and Winter's Mum left.
Susannah, Luc, Tim, Me, Peter, Winter
"You were the one who got me into politics, rationalism, to be better at piano..." I told him.
"So basically better at being a nerd?"
"Then you're an even better girl."
Then he said goodbye, ran off towards Massey Hall with his suitcase, and disappeared into the night.